Grownups are from Earth; Children are from Neptune
Ever since Halloween, J.J. has watched his brothers get candy from their bowls after dinner. He goes over and helps himself to a little box of nerds or a tootsie roll. But then he won't let anybody open them for him. He thinks we'll steal it. So he stares at the candy, expecting to open it telepathically, I guess. And finally, he starts eating the box.
It's the same with everything. He looks at me quizically to find out the protocal. I try to imagine what he's thinking.
"Rocks. Do I chew them up? Just suck on them? What? Do I eat them with fingers? Why is your hand in my mouth?
Okay, now the remote control--that goes in the trash right? I'm cleaning up a little bit. I threw away the portable phone, and your keys and airplane tickets, too. So...no need to thank me. Just doing my part. I rearranged the refridgerator. Figured you'd want everything on the floor instead."
The funny thing is...Richie, at 4, still has these alien tendencies. The other day he found a ball of dried out play dough. Did he throw it away? Leave it alone? No, he nibbled at it like a popcorn ball.
"Does that taste good?" I asked.
He laughed strangely. Maybe my kids are aliens. This would explain why I always start my sentences with "We don't." "We don't smear toothpaste on the walls so that it looks like we brushed our teeth. We don't wrestle in church. We don't go ballistic over Lincoln Logs. We don't fall to pieces over Spiderman stickers. We don't call grownups bubble bottoms. Etc."
It's short for "Here on Earth, we don't..."
Well, the alien-type behavior has its rewards. Scientists think that prolonged childhood is what made us humans the brilliant people we are today. So when our children grow up, they, too, can say intelligent things like, "Remote control not trash. Banana peel not hat. We don't eat rocks."